Twelve new ministers were sworn into Sri Lanka’s new cabinet on Monday amidst a severe political crisis prevailing in the island country.
The President’s Media Division said the new ministers were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat in capital Colombo.
Former President Mahinda Rajapakse who was sworn in as the nation’s new Prime Minister by President Sirisena last Friday took oaths as the new Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP, Nimal Siripala de Silva took oaths as the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, UPFA MP, Dr Sarath Amunugama as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, UPFA MP Mahinda Samarasinghe as the Minister of Ports and Shipping, UPFA MP, Mahinda Amaraweera as the Minister of Agriculture and UPFA MP Ranjith Siyambalapitiya as the Minister of Power and Energy.
Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, from the ruling United National Party, who crossed over to support the new government, was sworn in as the new Minister of Education and Higher Education and UNP MP Wasantha Senanayake the Minister of Tourism and Wildlife.
UPFA MP, Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa took oaths as the Minister of Fisheries andRural Economic Affairs and UPFA MP Faiszer Musthapha as the Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government, and Sports.
Eelam People’s Democratic Party Leader, Douglas Devananda was sworn in as the Minister of Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Northern Development, Arumugam Thondaman as the Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development and Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Leader Arumugam Thondaman as the Minister of Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development.
The new Ministers took oaths amidst calls by other political parties, urging Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya to summon Parliament immediately in order to resolve the prevailing political crisis.
The crisis erupted after President Sirisena sacked his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last Friday appointing former president Rajapakse to the post.
Wickremesinghe said his sacking was illegal and called on the Speaker to summon Parliament immediately so he could prove his majority in the House.
President Sirisena has prorogued Parliament till Nov 16.
UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, earlier Monday said stern action would be taken against any individuals accepting fresh posts and deemed the new government illegal.